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A Brief Introduction to the Concept of Data Warehouse

Data warehouse

A Brief Introduction to the Concept of Data Warehouse

A Brief History

The digital era is all about quick thinking and fast-paced decision-making. There’s no time to dwell on facts and figures to know what works for the business and what doesn’t. But things were not always like this. There was a time when copious amounts of data were handled manually to achieve the same outcome. The managers had to deal with problems like incomplete and inaccurate data, missing and inconsistent information, etc. This method could not sustain rapid business development, and things had to change.

The change started slowly as more and more businesses reached the same outcome – The business’s success depended on how efficiently one could exploit the data. Suddenly data became a big thing. All decisions had to be backed by it. This led to the businesses creating bigger and bigger repositories of data in raw form. Its sources were varied, and the information was stored on computers linked to in-house servers. This was the beginning of data warehouses.

Data warehouses have been in existence since the 1980s. In the beginning, organizations used them for powering operations, but soon they realized higher goals could be achieved by processing the raw data. This was the realization of Business Intelligence (BI).

Data Warehouse

A warehouse is typically a large building or a godown where raw materials or finished products are stored before their distribution for sale. Thankfully today, to store data, no physical building is required. Instead, it is stored in computers. So, a data warehouse is an electronic store of information that an organization collects over time. New data is added to it continually. It is organized and transformed to support query and analysis. You could say the information in a data warehouse is always query-ready.

Data Warehouse Is Different From Data Mining

Many people tend to confuse the terms data warehouse and data mining. They assume them to be the same things, but they are not. A data warehouse is a place where all the data gathering and organizing into a common database occurs. The process is referred to as data warehousing. On the other hand, data mining separates relevant and meaningful data from the given database. The two concepts are interconnected. Once data warehousing is complete, only then data mining is possible because all the information resides in the warehouse.

How Data Warehousing Works

Data warehousing presents a unified or consolidated collection of information gathered from several sources into a single comprehensive database. For example, a business may collect information through cash registers, business websites, social media platforms, mailing lists, etc. This data is sorted, processed, and analyzed to understand the customer better. Through data mining, patterns are identified within the copious amount of stored information to devise better sales strategies to drive higher profits.

Why Does Data Warehousing Matters?

Data warehouses are not cheap to maintain. Moreover, designing and implementing them is an expensive endeavor. Organizations that have a dedicated data warehousing team are on the right track to achieving their business goals. They are the leaders who are already thinking of product innovation, working towards its development, planning its production, forecasting the sales, and so on. Data mining is helping them in this journey of advancement.

Types Of Data Warehouses

There are three types of data warehouses. These are:

1. Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) – EDW is a centralized data warehouse. It provides decision support services throughout the organization. Typically, it is a collection of databases offering a cohesive and integrated approach for arranging and cataloging information according to the subject. The access to which is granted department wise.

2. Operational Data Store (ODS) – ODS is a central database. It is a source for EDW and used for operational reporting, setting controls, and decision making. ODS updates in real-time and hence is preferred for regular everyday activities. It differs from EDW because where ODS is for routine tasks, EDW is for strategic and tactical decision support.

3. Data Marts – A data mart is a subset of a data warehouse. It is usually tailored to a particular team or line of business. Consequently, these are very subject-oriented as specific teams require only specific data. Data marts are crucial as teams don’t have to spend time sorting through irrelevant data to reach what is required. The data mart ensures that information required by a department is all in one place. There is no time wastage going through the complete organizational data.

Data Warehouse Architecture

Typically, the data warehouse has a three-tier architecture. It consists of:

1. Bottom Tier – The base of the architecture embodies the database server of the data warehouse. It is also known as the Relational Database System. Information is fed into this bottom-most layer through back-end tools and techniques, which also perform the extract, clean, load, and refresh tasks.

2. Middle Tier – In the middle layer of the data warehouse is the OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) server. It is an extended Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). This level modifies the data into a more befitting arrangement which facilitates analysis and multifaceted queries from a user’s viewpoint.

3. Top Tier – At the very top is the client level. This layer includes the tools and API (Application Programming Interface) for querying, reporting, and high-level data analysis.

Rounding Off

Today’s enterprises need to adapt to the changing technology if they wish to succeed. The first step in that direction is the setting up of a data warehouse that would guide all the present and future decisions. Finding the right warehousing solution is the key. It will drive how efficiently the company can grow its operations while effectively satisfying the customer demands.

If you are ready to venture into the world of data warehousing solutions, look no further than Oamii Technologies to assist you in this endeavor. Our team of skilled professionals will help you harness the true potential of your data with a well-designed data warehouse and suitable solutions. Achieving faster decisions backed by useful and accurate data is possible, and we are here to show you how. Click here for a free consultation or contact us at 561-228-4111.